The cloud has plenty of advantages to offer. Cloud deployment can help save money for companies since they no longer have to make investments in buying and maintaining physical hardware, as well as hiring personnel to manage these systems.
The cloud is also more flexible, being able to scale according to demand and requirements – with customers only having to pay for what they use. Finally, and arguably most importantly, the cloud is more mobile – by allowing access to systems, data, and files remotely, instead of only on premises. In an era in which people may be working from virtually anywhere that they have an internet connection, this is a game-changer.
But as great as the cloud is for all sorts of reasons, it additionally adds new challenges to the mix. One of those challenges relates to cloud security. While security has been a facet of IT systems since businesses first began to adopt computers, the cloud security environment is very different to on-prem. That means that there are critical decisions that need to be taken when it comes to cloud native security.
Possible Cloud Challenges
Legacy security approaches don’t necessarily work in the cloud, even when these have been shown to be successful in the previous computing paradigm. For example, traditional IT infrastructure worked with a perimeter security model that, in essence, assumed those that were inside it should have total access, while those outside were threats to be stopped. Although tools like firewalls, antivirus software, anti-intrusion systems and more helped safeguard the network, these measures were not built for an era in which legitimate users were likely to be trying to access resources from the outside.
Another illustration of an important consideration for companies to take in the age of cloud computing regards the shared security model of the cloud. Cloud providers will frequently take on some of the burden when it comes to security, but it’s highly important – although not always considered deeply enough – that organizations understand what is the responsibility of the cloud providers and what is the responsibility of the cloud customer.
This may change according to the provider, but is often described as follows: Cloud providers will be responsible for security of the cloud, while cloud customers are responsible for the security of their data in the cloud. If that sounds like a confusing separation, you’re not alone: Many customers feel the same way, which is why it’s essential that users find out exactly what they are responsible for as they form their cloud security policies. After all, as the saying goes – a chain is as strong only as its single weakest link.
A Comprehensive Security Policy
Effective cloud native security should cover myriad areas. These include web application security, API security, serverless computing security, and data security. Each of these have to be considered as individual links in the proverbial chain mentioned above. All are possible weak spots that could be targeted by bad actors and used to potentially expose information or systems being hosted on the cloud. While each brings considerable advantages to their users, they also come with challenges that must be properly explored and understood.
To properly secure the cloud, organizations should consider the factors listed above when they develop a cloud security policy: ensuring that they understand the potential threats in this area and have created policies and best practices to address them.
Part of this means taking advantage of the right tools for the job. Organizations need an integrated solution that’s built into the cloud infrastructure stack, capable of delivering the kind of security they need to safeguard themselves and their users. Fortunately, help is at hand.
Cyber security experts are able to assist organizations as they set out to protect cloud-based data stores, making it easy to visualize which data is being stored where, the security requirements of these different environments, and protect against threats that set out to target the cloud. They are able to do this while avoiding breaches and assisting with compliance, which is increasingly mandatory for organizations utilizing cloud setups.
The Future Of Computing
Few would disagree with the assertion that cloud computing represents the future of computing. It opens up whole new ways to manage and access data, and to make systems and information available to customers and users, wherever they are. But these changes must be fully understood if organizations are going to protect themselves from risk. That means being educated about security issues and challenges, and being able to select the right tools to protect against threats.
If you’re able to do this, you’re in the enviable position of being able to enjoy the very best that cloud computing has to offer – without worrying about the possible risks. That’s the optimal position to be in. Developing a cloud security policy is the best possible start on the path to doing this.